Pinch yourself. Throw water on your face. Call your congressman. Do whatever you have to do to believe it, because the Big Ten is here. Rutgers' time is now.
Rutgers is in the Big Ten as the 2014 calendar turns to July, and the celebration will be a big one this evening at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Thousands of fans are expected to swarm the newly Big Ten minted football field tonight for a membership celebration. The celebration includes all of the biggest names in Rutgers athletics and academics as well as a special appearance by Big Ten commissioner and New Jersey native Jim Delaney.
The Big Ten Network, and president Mark Silverman, will also be on hand to mark the historic event.
The grand celebration includes guest speakers like Delaney, Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann and university president Robert Barchi, who sat next to former AD Tim Pernetti during the memorable 2012 announcement.
There will be live music, interaction with Rutgers coaches, student-athletes, cheerleaders, dance team and mascot. The party kicks off at 7 p.m. and concludes with a 9 p.m. fireworks show.
The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes' lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. Beginning today, the broad-based athletic programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide nearly $200 million in direct financial aid to almost 9,500 student-athletes for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 43 different sports.
The Big Ten will sponsor 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men's and women's lacrosse as official sports for the 2014-15 academic year.